It's funny when listening to some of the newer things being released in Jamaica and how much JA music has evolved. For instance, in the beginning, with the pre-ska R&B and Boogie Woogie styles, Jamaican musicians were heavily influenced by American music. Even throughout most of the 1960s. But then, with roots reggae as well as the rise of the deejay in the 70s, Jamaica got its own voice and stood by it into the 70s, 80s and the better part of the 90s. But now, it seems the music has gone full circle and gone back to the American influence. This time, Hip Hop.
Elephant Man's sophomore release "Log On" is a great example of what I mean. Often times when listening to certain tracks, I find myself straining to hear the reggae side of it. This aspect of the album disappointed me. If I wanted to listen to Rap, I'd listen to Rappers. But with that said, for what its worth, there are some really good songs on this disc and reggae purists maybe should hold off on criticisms and give it closer listen.
The album kicks off with the title track. "Log On" is a tune that toppled the JA charts for quite some time when first released. On the slippery "Liquid" rhythm, Elephant Man tells everyone of a new dance step called the Log On. And that's basically what the song is about. Its a good song (despite the unfortunate "Log on and step pon chi chi man chorus) and is appropriate as an album opener.
One of my favorite tracks would have to be "Warrior Cause" which is a great dancehall stomper on the "Rice and Peas" rhythm. The rhythm is heavy and so is the lyrical content ("Big up every warrior from the present to the past, you know dem a die fi a cause"). Elephant Man really shines here as a toaster rather than a rapper. Also Spragga Benz guests on this tune and he really rocks it.
On the subject of collaborations, Buju Banton is here on the not-so-conscious yet still entertaining dancehall tune "X-Rated" and reminds me very much of the pre-"Til' Shiloh" era of Buju. Other collaborations come with Ce'cile on "Bad Gal Bad Man" which is on the "Unstoppable" rhythm. The song int bad but its not a great tune and I usually end up skipping it. Ky-Mani Marley is also here on "Showdown" which isn't such a great tune and is a perfect example of the very present hip-hop influence on the dancehall of today. Ward 21 is also here on "Anything-A-Anything" which is yet another example of hip hop. Also the lyric is heavy on anti-gay matters which I'm not very much into.
A song I really like on here is "Passa Passa" which is on the same rhythm as "Bad Man Bad Gal". Elephant Man just really rides this rhythm ("Unstoppable") really well and it sounds like straight dancehall. "Giving The Peace" is a pretty good song. I really like the part where Elephant Man sounds very much like Mickey Mouse.
Songs like "Hot Girls", "Jamaica Part 2" (Where Elephant says: "for shizzle my nizzle" and takes the melody from a P.Diddy tune), and "Haters Wanna War" (count the times Elephant man says 'fuck') don't really do anything for me. Theres others to but I dont really feel like going through them. But if I wanted to hear "East Coast, West Coast", I could listen to old Tupac and Biggy Smalls records. They did it better anyways.
All in all, songs like "Log On", "Passa Passa", "X-Rated" and the phenomenal "Warrior Cause" fully justify purchase. But if you wanna check some great reggae, look somewhere else. This is mostly a hip-hop affair.
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